One Year Later

You left for your new life in the blink of an eye, your race finished much too soon. Speeding down the road for a late night adventure not realizing heaven was just around the corner. The adrenaline pumping through you was I guess far more important than wearing that seat belt, It’s still so unbelievable that with one click, a split-second decision would be entirely different. Your life and our life together would be so much more than these few lines of tribute.

It was surreal to return home to your grave and not your open arms. How I kept repeating in my head This is all wrong we’re supposed to be together but not like this. How I happily shared stories of you with those most dear to me. How this ring on my finger was to mean a host of wonderful things yet to come. How it still does just not like how we’d imagined.

I have shared with countless others the importance of wearing a seat belt because of you. How senseless your death truly is to me and those closest to you. I have met some wonderful people because of you my light. I’d give anything to have you here with us. I take comfort in the knowledge that you have met my dad in that far off place.

So tonight, I give thanks for your brief but full life you lived and loved. Well not just tonight but for the rest of my life. Until we’re reunited in that perfect place.

I love you from here to the sand dunes of eternity.

“Life is only temporary, so sometimes we just need to be here for the ones we love. -M. J. H.

Copyright © 2021 SJ Falling Rock
All Rights Reserved



When lightning scolded June

For being so



dry. I heard

The farmers finally slept

like rocks.

[But I]

I talked back,

Little halfwit brat.

Tossed rockets

Sizzling like a schoolyard tease

Puffs smearing like suburban chalk

And crumbling junebugs

under heavy shower.

That backwash brag joined fleets

Of croaking toads

And the echoes rinsing oaks

of homeless crows

leaving advice:

[frill your nose]

huff these three brothers

and a lighter

Vietnam crouching in one half acre

chewing their wild onion

wet socks and foxholes.

One cocked coke bottle

trapped fumes like milk,

And [shit],

We were parched

We were waiting

We were

suddenly 500 firecrackers

tapping neighbors awake

kicking communists out of bed-

I had blisters,


Blisters I fed,

Blisters worth every dime store jolt

worth every change jar star


while the clouds

babysat for Summer.

I can’t tell you

what drew me to salesmen,

To one particularly honest

Wool beard of a bootlegger

And a Nolanville Firework hut

Where the view was choked

by dusty cedars

And knitted with the conversation of an RV engine,

But I prodded cupboards to ask,

[Moved the deep-fat fryer]

Interviewed my shrinking stockpile

Saying the same old shit

Through wrappers and expired sparklers:

I started resupplying

on spokes,

twelve years old-

I may have grown

nine for the price of one,

Because twelve turned to twenty

And eight years later

I’m too deep in city limits

tucked outside of seasonal sales

To stop and smell the sulfur.

I left our [lawless]

ant covered Los Alamos

To speak,


Flirting with you like air does

with fuses



because it costs two hands

to be a careless arsonist.

I tried quitting the sun cold-turkey,

shot you once [hypodermic]

Into damp overcast,

clung to your ghost smoke

Until you were cardboard on a stranger’s lawn

Stayed up till 5:00 am

And squeezed each couch for quarters

Drop by drop

Until the last day they could sell-


The taste of ‘Last Day’:

last days of sewage drains getting wasted on the water cycle

last days of bottlecap races

and hearing your name.

I propped you skyward


Observed your strontium sadness

eat itself 300 feet up-

It never made sense

to the dogs or cats-

Sent them scattering just like

black powder

over my backyard,

[But I ]

I unflinching and deaf

I stared wolf-eyed

Until the final crack-

Saw myself on Iwo Jima

Doing split second sinister

Doing madness

Making lovely war.

Admitting from beneath

I could never admire nature

Until I heard it shatter.

All Rights Reserved Christian Taylor 2014

Love You Anyway

It’s 1:45 in the morning the rains Pitter patter wakes me from our world. Clock cadence rewind to our favorite yesterday. Those deep sea blues, stardust embraces, the creation of everything. Did you always know that in my own way since that first day I knew no matter what I’d love you anyway?

Your fearlessness and that zest for life it was infectious. Your charm took hold before I knew anything was going on. Thinking back on all that happened you must’ve known but didn’t say. Instead we just lived for the moment wishing time would stand still for awhile more.

Then came last fall and the realization that we’d been putting off for years. Pacing back and fourth reading that letter. Yes I know where you are and now I know that you’ve always known that I’ll love you anyway.

Copyright © 2020 SJ Falling Rock
All Rights Reserved

No Rush but i’m ready

Kai is six months trying to walk before he crawls. Deep brown eyes and thick head of hair. His mama hands him to me. I breathe him in and thank the universe that I’ve lived to hold him once again. Disabled and learning to heal this mental pain that was woven into my DNA. Generational trauma and yes, I know I’m my ancestor’s wildest dream. Stubborn strong and making you proud and them too.

Kai just know I’m learning to heal myself so that you won’t have to hurt this much too. The dark sometimes finds me even when the sun shines relentlessly at 35,000 feet. Saphire sky and clouds. Daddy, can you see me? write his name on the window of the plane hoping and praying that just maybe well come on don’t make me say it. Snapback to reality can’t wait to see the young man you’ll become.

I whisper to him thank you for helping heal my broken heart beautifully, slowly remembering what happiness feels like. Lake you’d be proud of me. He babbles so happily the fountain of youth and redemption in my arms. Yes, I’m ready whenever but, in no rush not like I used to be so that’s something. He falls asleep on my shoulder and his mama makes me promise to be here for your first birthday. I promise no matter what I will be godwilling.

KWJL Thank you for existing & Leo This is for you too

24 hours to go and I’ll be 35,000 feet above you all part of me believes that this will be as close to heaven I’ll ever get. My place in hell was reserved long ago, long before you sweet boys. 32 years and fighting depression with the help of my dear Leo the Lion and K. I want you, boys, to conquer the world with each trip around the sun. Candles and Birthday cakes. Creator thank you for bringing these two boys to help heal and anchor me helping me to see past this fog of depression and the war inside this mind of mine. K stands up on my lap smiling, drooling, and teething. Two new chompers you’re growing like a weed. I can’t wait to see you become a basketball player, An Astronaut, and Lord willing a big brother in a few years.

Leo, I didn’t forget you my brave littlest. That trach is one heck of a fashion statement. You’re growing too fast too. Your brown eyes meet mine as I watch you fight sleep. Okay, I’ll read Goodnight moon one more time. Twinkle twinkle little star thank you creator for these sweet boys who call me Auntie. Almost asleep he holds onto my finger. Daddy, I’ll make sure these boys know you. Even though I no longer remember the sound of your voice, one day I’ll hear it again. “Let’s go baby everybody so eager to see you and Micah’s a good man.” For now, though I’ll enjoy this new trip around the sun and hopefully make you proud of me.

Another trip around the sun

Mom leaves work early and quietly enters the house in case I may still be sleeping. Her footsteps such a comforting cadence since childhood. The smell of this house, her favorite scented candles, The bathroom after a quick shower and her ever trusted pine sol. Memories that will one day be all that I’ll have. Thank the creator for another trip around the sun.
She knocks on the door “You up? where do you want to go to breakfast?” 20 minutes and we’re sharing breakfast at my new favorite restaurant. French toast, omelette and chatter of fellow diners. And out of nowhere I hear Mom Toni’s voice. I turn around immediately. It’s not her but, part of the wishes that it was.
Dad would you tell her….tell her please. Misty eyed I turn back to my Mother she’s sharing a memory of Grandma. I miss them all always but especially today. Another trip around the sun. I love you, I miss you, please continue to watch over all of us. We can’t do this without your guidance.
Before sunset I head out to his spot with a key chain in hand “Drive safe handsome. I love you.” This sacred place where time and grief stand still. Before I know it I’m laying next to him. Whispering, laughing and longing for his arms and our children. I’m one year closer to our reunion. One more trip around the sun. For you, For them and for myself.

Copyright © 2021 SJ Falling Rock
All Rights Reserved

Everything changes

The day he took his last mechanical breath a part of us died too. Some drink themselves to sleep while others meet up on the street corner and bum a cigarette or two. Sharing beers talking about the good ole days. Leo breathes with the assistance of a ventilator, he’s seen his papa’s face a time or two. Smiling in his sleep. Creator thank you for everything.

Since leaving never land my patience seems to have grown a shorter fuse. My bullshit detector is in overdrive. Always somewhat on edge, unexpected early morning calls still send me reeling for a bit. His old hoodie is the only thing that helps most nights. Reading wade Good Night Moon over Facetime at 2 am because we’re both up. Wade Thank you for helping heal this heart. I love you more dear boy.

One day we’ll go fishing like your papa and I used to. I love you dad we’re doing our best it’s just really hard still.

Copyright © 2021 SJ Falling Rock
All Rights Reserved

Messy Adventure living in the after of loss

Of all the losses I’ve endured nothing will be worse than my last day with you. The sounds of the machines sometimes wreak havoc on my brain unexpectedly. All these years later and how I wish it could be otherwise. All those who tried heal your ailing body quickly became Shadow people that left me with a child like fear of the dark for quite awhile. I know they did all they could but you’re still gone and I wish you could’ve put down that bottle when I was still a child. Instead I’m left to walk down aisle alone someday. How my brother and I both said You should have been with us for another decade or so. Instead we all grow up and left Neverland when the doc said “He’s gone now”

It feels like a lifetime since than sometimes. We’ve become stronger and weaker all at once it seems. Even as we wish for eternity to come quickly we’re doing our best with our remaining days. Cd Lome tomorrow morning this searing will lessen even more but for right now it demands an audience so here I am in the the front row. Dad Grieving and life after loss is one hell of a messy adventure.

Copyright © 2021 SJ Falling Rock
All Rights Reserved

Another Day in A Previous Life

sleep to dream
dream to sleep
comeback to me
Jim Beam kisses
Kentucky Whiskey
secrets and long nights
Haven’t played guitar
since our last day together
We don’t even have to touch
you still tremble just a bit
Traded in the pick for a pen
ink filled photo backs
Memories of us of almost was
another day in a previous life
Today two friendly strangers
corner booth coffee shop
No I can’t stay too long
I just wanted well I needed to
Fingers pressed to lips
shh she says
Swear I could die happy now
deep blue ocean eyes
My home away from home
another day in a previous life
Careful driving home
Wait write me one more story
pen and paper at the ready
Instead I write on her arm
I love you
I’m sorry
Please forgive me
invisible poetry at its finest
Deep blue sun-kissed perfection

everything except
The happy Ending
Only to be found in
Another day in a previous life

Copyright © 2021 SJ Falling Rock
All Rights Reserved

In The Crowd

Scottish festival clan crowd all around,
amongst the chatter and the clink of drinks
I see those familiar deep blue ocean eyes
Long flowing blonde hair now full of gray
She spots me out of the corner of her eye
Raises her glass smiles and says
It’s great to see you
I’ve missed you in a way
She walks through the sea of people
embraces me and our world comes to life again
if only for a brief moment of peace.

Copyright © 2021 SJ Falling Rock
All Rights Reserved

Ticket Home

3:30 a.m. bags packed along with a blue berry red bull,
3 years since I laid him to rest and swore I’d never return.
Micah’s picture along with the ring he designed,
Dad’s old hoodie keeps the nightmares at bay.
Mom Toni a collection of bones and ash,
Many unanswered questions so many “WHY’S”
The reason’s behind my fight or flight instinct,
Shit! Lakeland get me out of here the walls collapsing.
14 hours and a ticket home,
A visit to our family cemetery.
Stoned upturned face hey I’m home,
Mom Toni has left me for the last time.
Ashes float down stream to the echo of
Ma, I forgive you.
Micah I’m home for good this time.